Wanamaker Organ Daily Concerts
A Philadelphia Tradition Maintained Continuously Since 1911
Twice a day, six days a week, a switch is thrown, and nine massive blowers breathe life into the gigantic wind machinery of the world’s largest playing pipe organ. Its silken sound summons people from all over the planet.
Here is the current schedule for regular twice-daily 45-minute recitals:
Monday through Saturday at 12 noon
Monday through Saturday at 5:30 pm
Visitors are welcome to tour the console (Floor Two), the command center of the Organ, and meet the staff following the daily concerts, health conditions permitting.
A visitor film and brochures are at our kiosk outside the organ loft,
together with a video feed of the console during performances.
We regret that the Wanamaker Organ is not played on Sundays.
Please visit our HOME PAGE for specifics on any Special Concerts that may also be referenced below under the Daily Performer Schedule. We update current concert information more frequently on the Home Page. For the special concerts that are ticketed, patrons should know that no physical tickets are ever sent in the mail. We have a will-call desk with a roster of names. Attendees will be given wristbands. You can also print out your payment receipt as a form of identification, but it is not necessary.
Daily concerts are free and are a part of the Macy’s shopping experience. Concerts are held every calendar day except Sundays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The evening concert is frequently NOT held on Christmas Eve or on New Year’s Eve. On rare occasions, daily concerts are pre-empted by special events such as fashion shows.
In between daily concerts, an informational presentation is available on our Visitor Kiosk outside the console. Hit the stop tablet marked Roman Numeral I to play the Visitor Orientation Film. Or you may view it HERE. Wanamaker Organ merchandise is sold at the Macy’s Information Desk on the First Floor.
Scroll down to see a link to our Visitors Guide with tips on food, lodging and amenities.
Daily Organ Concert – Frequent Performers
Because these concerts are a daily feature of the Macy’s shopping experience (a tradition that has been unbroken since 1911), no reservations or tickets are needed. Pieces played on any given occasion are at the discretion of the performer and are not known in advance.
DAILY PERFORMING ARTISTS: In addition to Macy’s Grand Court Organist Peter Richard Conte, his roster of Assistant Grand Court Organists includes Emily Amos, Mark Bani, Jeremy Flood, Thomas Gaynor, Fred Haas, Rudy Lucente, Aaron Patterson, Luke Staisiunas and Isza Wu.
Daily concerts are free and are held in the huge Grand Court of the Macy’s Philadelphia department store. Visitors unfamiliar with the Store should know that no tickets or reservations are required.
Daily concerts are held in a busy department store. Although we get many requests from incredibly talented people, we very much regret that visiting organists are NOT permitted to take part in daily performances. Please do not contact us with requests to play. Thank you for your understanding.
2024 Wanamaker Organ Special Concert Season
The Friends holds special after-hours concerts about twice a year, usually in June and in the Fall. Because the subtleties of the Organ can only be fully experienced after Store hours, the events are ticketed. Patrons will not actually receive a physical ticket in the mail, but will have their names and number in their party on a will-call list when they arrive at the Store. Purchasers can also bring the receipt of payment they receive when buying online, but it is not necessary for admission.
Hospitality is critical for our organization. We know that many of you come from far away and want you to be assured you will be favorably received when you get here.
Many special concerts also include free concerts during Store hours. The sound of the Wanamaker Grand Organ is like nothing on earth, and no virtual experience can fully capture the majesty and grandeur of hearing it in person. That is even more so at night, when the finer details are revealed, and artists can unleash the Organ’s full power with carefree abandon. The result: sublime beauty that thrills listeners to the core! Look for further details and schedule tweaks as plans are finalized, and check out our Visitor Guide with tips, dining and lodging ideas at wanamakerorgan.com!
Please consult our home page for the latest special concert news, as this page is updated infrequently. We hold special concerts in the Spring, on Wanamaker Organ Day (usually June), in the Fall and at Yuletide.
Macy’s Center City Philadelphia daily store hours are here. The Store and Organ are at 13th and Market Streets in downtown Philadelphia, next to City Hall. Rest rooms are on the Third Floor, 13th Street.
Producing Special Concerts in a department store is both a delight and a challenge. As our website has evolved, we have found it useful to put special concert information directly on our home page. This is especially true because our special concert schedule is dependent on the release of Macy’s quarterly sales schedule, and as a result we generally only have six to eight weeks of notice from the time a date is granted until the event itself. We therefore give it the utmost prominence on the website and update it more often.
The approximate annual pattern of Friends of the Wanamaker Organ special events is a Spring afternoon concert, a post-Memorial Day Wanamaker Organ Day festival with ticketed evening concert, a Fall concert (almost always in the evening and ticketed) and a Christmas concert, generally on a Sunday afternoon or evening after Thanksgiving. Wurlitzer events are often held in conjunction with Wanamaker Organ Day and sometimes our Fall concert. The Wurlitzer is also sometimes played during the Christmas season for people waiting to get in the Dickens Christmas Village.
During the Christmas season the Wanamaker Organ is covered with a scrim that slightly affects its sound. The noon concerts generally follow the 7-minute Light Show. Most of the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ special concerts are geared to warmer months when humidity in the air dramatically increases the presence of the organ in the room, and when tuning tends to be more stable. Also by not holding many special events in the winter we are able to avoid being snowed out. Publication of our newsletters tends to follow the concert schedule, so that members can have timely information on our presentations.
Please consult the top of our home page of Wanamakerorgan.com for breaking developments. All members receive timely concert information through our quarterly newsletter, The Stentor, as well, and receive discounts on ticket purchases to certain special events.
Kimmel Center Organ Concerts
Kimmel Center organ concerts are another beloved Philadelphia music tradition.
The Fred J. Cooper Organ at Verizon Hall, home to the Philadelphia Orchestra. For the latest organ-concertinformation, please click here! We have been given to understand that tickets to some events may receive a discount when the word Wanamaker is input in the appropriate field!
- You may connect with the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ on Facebook here!
- An entertaining highlights film on Kimmel Center Organ Day 2013 is here!
- Listen to the Fred J. Cooper organ at the Kimmel Center on MPR’s Pipedreams here!